Thursday, October 14, 2010

Random Post-Marathon Thoughts

Recovering from a marathon gives a runner a lot of extra time to think about stuff. I feel like this is a good place to write all those thoughts down. Warning: this will be random and may seem nonsensical at times. Read at your own risk. If you haven't read my Chicago race report, now's a good time to do it - it may help this post make a teeny bit more sense. Maybe. Eh, probably not. But it's worth reading anyway.

1. I distinctly remember running over two dead rats during the marathon. In two different places. Is this normal for Chicago? Were the rats already dead before the marathon, or did they get trampled to death by the elites?

2. And while we're on the subject of gross things about Chicago, what was the deal with the sewer gas smell? I'd say a good 25% of Chicago smells like sewer gas. The other 75% smells like fried food.

3. I need a redemption marathon. Not that getting a PR wasn't great. But I need to prove to myself that I can run a marathon in under 5 hours.

4. I'm worried that I'll just keep inching closer and closer to 5 hours without actually going under, so I'll be stuck in a seemingly endless schedule of marathons and all my toenails will fall off and when there are no toenails left, my fingernails will start falling off out of sympathy.

5. Charity Village is too freaking far away from the marathon start/finish area at Chicago. They should provide shuttle buses. Or roller skates!

6. I think I would enjoy being a volunteer at the Chicago Marathon next year. I bet I would be the best water-cup-passer-outer they've ever had. Maybe if I proved myself worthy, they would promote me to Gatorade-cup-passer-outer. Or the highest honor, Gu-passer-outer.

7. I ran 2 miles on Tuesday - my first post-marathon run. Was I not supposed to? Hal Higdon says no. Hal Higdon says don't even think about running until the Thursday after your marathon. Oops. Sorry, Hal.

8. You know, I'm not sure I really care that much what Hal Higdon says. He also says no races until 4 weeks after your marathon, and I'm doing a half-marathon in less than two weeks. Take that, Hal Higdon!

9. Hopefully I don't collapse in my half-marathon and have to deal with Hal Higdon standing over my broken body, waggling his finger in my face and saying "Neener neener, I told you so!"

10. I really shouldn't have smiled for all the cameras on the marathon course. I actually look like I was having fun at Mile 20. I mean just look at these pictures. It's so misleading, because I was actually having a near-death experience at that point and as I was walking into the light, I was filled with a sense of joy and peace. I wasn't joyful about the marathon, I was joyful about an eternity filled with all the cookies I could ever want.

Mile 18-ish: Giving thumbs up to Jesus as I go into the light

Mile 357 (or so it felt), walking and miserable, but still smiling for the camera. Also, that girl in the yellow shorts wearing the same shirt passed me all cheerful-like, saying "GREAT JOB! YAY OAR! You look GREAT!" and if I had had the energy, I would've stuck my foot out and tripped her.

11. I bet running through Chinatown is really cool when you're not too delirious to appreciate it. I vaguely remember some Chinese-looking buildings. And some dragons. But it's entirely possible I hallucinated these things.

12. The shoes I wore for the marathon are covered in all these nasty bits of white stuff. What is this stuff? It almost looks like little paper spit-wads. Were spectators shooting spit-wads at me??? Why would they do this?

13. I have already been researching marathons for my next 26.2. I can't decide if I want to do another one soon, or wait a year. If I do one soon, maybe I can get that sub-5:00 goal out of the way quickly and move on to other (shorter) things. If I wait a year, maybe I'll get faster so that sub-5:00 is that much easier to achieve. Or maybe I should just sit on my butt and eat cookies.

14. The Chicago Marathon medal and the official race t-shirt both leave a lot to be desired. I have half-marathon medals that are way cooler looking. And they cost way less money and time to earn. It's like the Chicago Marathon is the Gucci of marathons - even though their gear is kinda ugly, people pay a lot of money for it because it says Chicago Marathon on it. Incidentally, the medal I got from OAR was cooler (in my opinion) than the actual marathon medal.

Chicago Marathon medal - meh

OAR Medal - cool ribbon!

15. I'd like to run a race in every state. Not a marathon in every state, because that's a LOT of marathons. But a race of some distance. Preferably races with state-related themes. I wonder if there's like a Spud 7-Miler in Idaho... Or maybe a Hula Half-Marathon in Hawaii.... or perhaps a Tornado 10k in Kansas.

16. Along the marathon course, they were handing out water-soaked sponges. These sponges had been sitting in water-filled kiddie pools. I'd be lying if I said it didn't cross my mind to skip the sponges completely and just dive right into the kiddie pools.

17. I can't believe how quickly I've forgotten the pain of Chicago. Already I want to run another marathon? Am I completely insane? (That's a rhetorical question - no need to be so enthusiastic about answering it, people.)

18. OMG, so I'm sitting here Googling marathons (yes, this is how I spend my recovery time) and I think I found my next marathon! Check it out! It's the Icebreaker Indoor Marathon. That's right folks, an indoor marathon. 95 laps around an indoor track. Oh, you laugh now because it sounds ridiculous, but when you read all the awesome reviews, you'll want to run it too. Come on, you know you want to!

19. Well, I'd love to sit here and think up more random thoughts, but I gotta go figure out my training plan for my next marathon. See ya!

Peace. Love. Train.


  1. Emily, Consider the Mesquite Marathon in Nevada. Check out the elevation profile--nearly all downhill. You can run faster going downhill, right? The extra "help" from the downhill might just push you below the 5 hour mark... Just a thought.

  2. Mesquite, Nevada, huh? Have you run this marathon before? What did you think of it, aside from the downhill course? I'm intrigued... But unfortunately there's no easy way for me to get there. And it's not that I need extra help from the course - I just need decent marathon weather. Heat is my biggest enemy. I actually tend to run well on hilly courses, but if the weather is hot, it doesn't matter what the course is like.